The Organization of Black Students
at the University of Chicago
Some basic information about the organization
The purpose of the Organization of Black Students (OBS) at the University of Chicago shall be to provide an organizational framework to address issues of concern to the Black community.
The goals of OBS shall be to ensure the continuity and growth of Black educational, cultural, social, and political institutions on campus as well as in the greater Chicago community.
The Organization of Black Students shall serve as a support group to Black Students. Additionally it will endeavor to build a better understanding of the Black experience that, through its members, programs, resources and functions, will permeate the University atmosphere. In this respect, OBS shall contribute to the pursuit of multicultural expression, understanding, and awareness.
OBS is a multifaceted organization that brings together people of all races and ethnic backgrounds to celebrate black history and the diverse contributions of black students to the University of Chicago community.
OBS encourages all who respect OBS’s mission to support its cause by becoming fans of this page and spreading awareness of OBS initiatives on campus and in the community.
How To Get Involved
Being a member of OBS encompasses a wide range of opportunities for social, cultural, and political engagement. Below are the primary ways in which you can be actively involved with OBS!
1. Be Active - Participation is the primary and most supportive way of being an active member of OBS. This simply means attending OBS social, cultural, political, and community service events. Attending OBS events helps to foster the community that OBS should be for students here at the University of Chicago.
2. Culture Show Committee -
3. Be A First Year Representative - Interested in holding a position on the executive board? OBS is looking for three dynamic and committed first years
The Executive Board functions as the administrative and governing body of the the Organization of Black Students.
The President shall be the chief executive officer and official spokesperson for the organization. They shall convene and preside over all meetings; assign/delegate projects to the other Executive Board members; and set/promote the organizational standard for excellence on the Executive Board, regarding completion of projects and demonstrating respect for all peoples.
The Vice President
The Vice-President shall organize and maintain a functioning Executive Board, ensuring that all positions are filled and that agendas are prepared for Executive Board (and General Assembly) meetings. They shall serve as the advisor to the President in matters pertaining to the organization and its members and as an informational resource for students (as liaison to University administration, campus offices/resources and OBS graduate affiliates).
The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial transactions of OBS: including all billing and deposits. The treasurer shall be in direct contact with the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities' Financial Operations/Bookkeeping Office and Resource Coordinator. The Treasurer shall be responsible for being knowledgeable of all Reimbursement and Expense Request activity.
The Secretary shall be the chief recording and corresponding officer for OBS, preparing the minutes for all executive board meetings and general assemblies; distributing these minutes through the Google Drive(or other designated cloud interface).
The Political Chair
The Political Chair shall be responsible for acting as the liaison between OBS and other political organizations including the Institute of Politics. The Political Chair shall also be responsible for keeping the Executive Board informed-through whichever medium they choose-of the political activities and opportunities in which to take part in the community around political issues.
The Action Chair
The Action Chair shall be the head of the Action Committee and should work closely together with the Political Chair to organize around issues pertaining to Black people at the University and in the City of Chicago.
The Community Service Chair
The Community Service Chair is responsible for planning community service events for the organization. It can be an ongoing or daylong event. A community service event must occur every quarter. The Chair should present these opportunities to the board and the general constituency.
The Social Chair
The Social Chair is responsible for planning a set of Saturday night family dinners every quarter which allow students a meal. Furthermore, the social chair is responsible for planning the annual Heritage Ball in Spring quarter. This involves booking a space, providing transportation, organizing food and entertainment for the event.
The Blacklight Editor
The Blacklight Editor shall be the editor-in-chief of Blacklight Magazine as well as the chief executive of the Blacklight Editorial Board. They shall be responsible for actively recruiting a committee of students within the organization (writers, reporters, visual artists, and poets) to aid with the production, distribution, and marketing of a quarterly publication.
The Outreach Chair
The Outreach Chair is responsible for being the liaison for the executive board to Black alumni and students. The outreach chair should remain contact not only with the University of Chicago Association of Black Alumni but also the various Black graduate school student groups.
The First Year Representatives
The First Year Representatives are the designated liaisons for the Black first years on campus to the executive board. They are responsible for planning a quarterly event to allow for Black first years to engage and get involved with OBS as well as to engage with each other.
Meet Our Board
Meet the executive board of the Organization of Black Students
Stephanie Greene is a third year, English major from Chicago. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found on the rugby pitch or rowing on the Chicago River. Stephanie is also a founding member and the Volunteer Coordinator of the Chicago Peace Corps, an organization that promotes restorative justice in Chicago Public Schools. She is passionate about making UChicago, and other academic institutions like CPS, work for Black students. In working with the board members and Black students on campus, she is certain that this could be one of the most exciting years for the organization. This is Stephanie’s third year serving on the board of OBS and she is humbled to be serving as the President.
Atrician Lumumba is a rising second year currently majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Computer Science. He is originally from Cologne, Germany by way of Hollywood, FL. In his free time, he likes to listen to Hip-Hop(some might call him a "hip-hop head"), play sports, and play FIFA. This is his second year serving on the board and he is excited for all the great things this organization is going to accomplish this year.
Chase Woods is a third year, majoring in Public Policy with a focus in education. In his spare time he enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing and watching sports (particularly basketball, which according to Chase. he is good at watching it, bad at playing it). He is also involved with University Theatre, and is currently a fellows ambassador at the IOP. This is his first year on the board, and he could not be more excited.
Shayla Harris is from North New Jersey. She is a sophomore majoring in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies with a minor in French. She is a bookworm, who enjoys writing too. She also enjoys running, and trying new things (especially food) on her spare time. She is extremely excited to serve as the OBS Social Chair, and looks forward to having a really fun year!
Cultural Show Co-Chair
Claire Moore is a second year from Maryland double majoring in Romance Languages and Literature (focusing on Spanish and Portuguese) and Linguistics. She loves to dance, sing, and eat. This is her first year on the board after serving on the Culture Show Committee and she can’t wait to see what OBS will do during the coming year.
Cultural Show Co-Chair
Amber is a second year currently thinking of majoring in Economics with a minor in Spanish. She is originally from PG County, Maryland (shoutout to the DMV!). In her free time, she likes to paint portraits on shoes, watch hockey, and listen to music. This is her first year serving on the board and she is really excited to get started!
Kennedy Green is a second year double major in Law Letters & Society and Political Science. When she is not pretending to be a lawyer in Mock Trial or Moot Court, you'll probably find her binge-watching Law & Order, The West Wing, and Scandal. She has learned from Kendrick Lamar, Rich Gang, and Dr. Martin Luther King that success and reaching the mountaintop comes with a price, but no matter what it is, as our Treasurer she'll do her best to make sure we are able to pay it. This is her first year serving on the OBS Board, and she's excited to start it!
Morgan Redmond is a rising second year in the college. She hails from the beautiful city of Louisville, Kentucky. She is tentatively Pre-Med with plans to pursue a degree in Anthropology. She loves to dance, and is a huge fan of her hometown team, the University of Louisville Cardinals. Last year, she was involved with Blacklight Magazine, but this is her first year serving on the board, and she can’t wait to see what the year will bring!"
Natalie Richardson is a rising third year studying Cinema & Media Studies and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies. Though primarily a poet, Natalie also experiments with playwriting, acting, directing, and is interested in pursuing a career in film. When she isn't writing for the page or prepping for the stage, Natalie loves coaching the University of Chicago Lab School's slam poetry team, traveling on whatever budget she can manage, and pouring over fashion blogs with her best friends. This is her first year serving on the board and she is excited to bring a mixed-race perspective to OBS' squad.
Community Service Chair
Devoni is a third year still deciding on a major, but leaning towards Public Policy with a Cinema Media Studies minor. She is from Chicago, but her current stomping ground is in the suburbs now. Her hobbies are varied, but currently she is really into gardening with a small group in the Woodlawn community. She is the Community Service head, and is very excited to be able explore her hometown through service with OBS this year."
Ka-ra Moore is a rising second year from Detroit, MI majoring in Political Science and Sociology. When he is not doing classwork he likes to read/write about history and how it pertains to contemporary issues. This is his second year as Outreach Chair and he hopes to help build a strong African-American community on campus where all feel welcomed and comfortable.
First Year Representative
Mary Blair is a first year intending to major in Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies (and possibly Polictical Science or Public Policy). In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, thrift shopping, and wasting hours on Vine. She is also involved with the UChicago Women's Rugby Team, UChicago Southside Solidarity Network, and is currently a work-study intern at the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues. She is incredibly happy to be on the OBS Board and can't wait contribute to the organization.
First Year Representative
Conner Chapman is a first year majoring in Economics. He plays football for the University and in his spare time he enjoys playing video games, watching movies and listening to music. He is a mentor for Project Rousseau at UChicago, which is a program geared towards offering academic and personal support and guidance to high school students at Hyde Park Academy. He is very excited to be part of OBS.
First Year Representative
Kandace Williamson is a first year, majoring in Biology. She enjoys drawing, listening to music, playing and watching sports, and exploring new restaurants around the city in her spare time. Kandace is also involved with club lacrosse, clinical research on campus, tutoring elementary school students through Friends of Washington Park, and is currently a board member for the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students. She is eager and excited to represent the class of 2019 on the OBS board.
A look at our past events
2014 Kent Lecture
Political Chair Elizabeth Adetiba hosts a Q&A session with Hill Harper after his thrilling lecture.
Wishbone & Wordplay
A poster advertising Blacklight Magazine's Wishbone & Wordplay benefit concert.
#BLACKOUT - 2015 OBS Cultural Show
Logan Arts Center
Attendants to the annual cultural show enjoying a pre-show dinner.